Reapair or replace Kohler 15 HP

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by TaylorLawn, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. TaylorLawn

    TaylorLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    Im looking for some of my mowers posesses a 15 HP Kohler, it has seized.....I have spoken with many mechanics and the general consesus is that it would be more trouble repairing the existing engine, than purchasing a replacement. I have discovered that a replacement would cost anywhere from 650-750 smackers. A mechanic freind of mine tells me that he could have it bored and replace the piston(s) and rings, and there is a chance it may work, with a lot less cost to me......anyone have any advice or experience to share. Im just thinking that if I attempt to repair and it works, great, I only had to spend $200, but if it does not work, Im out the $200 or so, plus the $700............?????????? Thanks, Eric
  2. J&R

    J&R LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Check the price of a short block .
  3. When your mechanic friend said there is a chance the repairs may work, is he saying once the engine is disassembled that more problems may become apparent, thus taking more $ to repair?

    How many hours on the engine? If it is a high hour engine I would just replace it because even with the mentioned work done it may not be long until you need valve and or carburetor work.
    If you can't do the internal engine repairs yourself it usually makes better economic sense to replace the engine.

    If it is a low hours engine and you have a good mechanic, I'd take a chance on the $200 repair.
  4. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    What caused the seizure? Lack of oil or just sat for a long time and won't turn?
  5. TaylorLawn

    TaylorLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    The mower itself is a fairly new purchase..less than a year, as far as the hours, I did not have an hour meter on it, more than likely no more than 75hrs, the purchase was made to have a smaller mulcher/bagger to clean up after using the SCAGS, and for reaching some backyards where the SCAGS would not fit through gates etc. I am ashamed to say that I believe the problem was my fault...did not give much attention to it like I do the other equipment, and therefore the PM on it was overlooked, and always took second priority. I actually have two such "back-ups", both John Deere, LT133 and 155, I use them only on small yards, and in some cases some clients actually dont like all of the "Big Stuff", they are afraid of turf damage or I cave in and use the JD's on those properties, If I go internally into the 15HP do you guys think there is actually a chance of freeing it???? The mechanics I am speaking of are close freinds, so labor cost would be nill, so I am thinking of at least opening it up to at least check it out....If I have to spend almost $800 on the thing, I might end up just buying a new back-up and put a used Engine in the 155 and sell it cheap...Thanks for your input
  6. edward hedrick

    edward hedrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    Try Small engine warehouse Ive seen 13 Koh 395. I bought a 14

    vanguard from them 5 yrs ago. some of the lowest prices.

    Look at a 14 Kawi. Ed
  7. TaylorLawn

    TaylorLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    Thanks, do they have a website?
  8. edward hedrick

    edward hedrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871 1-800-321-6725 has a 17 Koh

    similiar to 15 for $475 special scratch+dent special. Ed
  9. olfrt

    olfrt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    open it up. it's winter after all

    See what the problem is if it's lack of oil then more than likely the cranck can be turned and a new rod will fix it. Unless you put a window in the motor.

    It might be as simple as a starter motor stuck against the fly wheel.
  10. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    The post about hours is important. I have maintained, tuned and rebuilt a bunch of Kohlers. While they are a good quality engine, if the motor has a bunch of hours, usually over 1400, in my experience, you get nickled and dimed to death. If this is the case, hours wise, get a short block.
    If the mechanic is really a friend of yours, perhaps this could be an excellent learning opportunity for you. Have your mechanic friend watch you as YOU disassemble the motor, prep it for what repair is necessary, then reassemble.
    I have done this several times with friends in the area. They always tell me the same thing, "I didn't know working on engines was so interesting" or similar words to that effect. It also helps to have over 10 grand in tools.
    However, if time is the main criteria, short block it.
    Good luck, Steve

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